As Old As Time – or is it?

We are all familiar with the expression, “as old as time”, but did you know that time as we know it today only existed about a couple of centuries?  It was only in the past couple of hundred years when the world gradually agreed to one standard measure of time that time became a universal concept.  Until then people worked and rested by the rise and fall of the sun.

The (clear) glass we are used to are brought about by the government confinement of glass craftsmen to the island of Murano (to stop fire and the skills from escaping…).  Otherwise we will probably still be using vases that looks like it has been chiselled out of quartz.

This is something that we should remind ourselves, as we increasingly look to technology sector as miracle workers that both disrupt and benefit society. No invention occurs in isolation.

Innovation/problem solving/’scientific discoveries’ started when caveman wondered what that burning bush struck by lightening is.  It’s an essential skill in today’s increasingly fast paced world.  A kinder teacher I know, instead of googling answers herself, involve students in working out the answer to their questions.  This means a lot more work for her, but I look forward in 10 years time to the next young batch of inquisitive young scientists/engineers/makers.

For more information about time and glass, Steven Johnson has an excellent series called “How We Got to Now” episodes of which is available now on ABC iView.  Time and glass episode have expired now, but cold and light are still on.  I am sure you can get the DVD/downloads from the usual retailers if you want to catch up.

PS I am coining the term “Science Anthropology”.  Let us know if you think there’s a better (or more official) name out there.


This is not a sponsored post, nor do we have any association with ABC or Steven Johnson.

Why the short post!?

This post may seem out of style with our usual posts, but we are madly working on 2 concurrent exciting projects at the moment (yes yes, I know what people say about multitasking…).  Stay tuned for sneak peeks and news over the next few weeks!